An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government – David Talbot

I ordered The Devil’s Chessboard, by David Talbot, and let it collect dust for many months. What a mistake! It must be one of the most eye-opening books about covert power structures in America. Thanks to the writing style and organization, it was hard to put the book down. It should be a must read for any serious student of the time period 1950-1970. In some ways it nicely interweaves with the final chapters of Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope which was published in 1964 without knowledge of the many facts publicly released and discovered since Quigley’s publication. Indeed, consider this: in 1927 Allen Dulles became the 2nd director of the Council on Foreign Relations and from 1933 to 1944 he was the Council’s secretary. The are too many astounding observations to write them all here. Do yourself a favor and read the book.
Many reviewers claim that JFK and the Unspeakable is a slightly better book regarding the JFK assassination; however, it seems the overall consensus is that The Devil’s Chessboard is the best book on Allen Welsh Dulles, John Foster Dulles, James Jesus Angleton and the early history of the CIA.

Debt: The First 5,000 Years – David Graeber

Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber, is a fascinating and astounding look at the ubiquity of debt in human affairs. It replaces many “accepted” theories on the origins of money and debt and disproves the Myth of Barter by studying the anthropological record. From my own experience, economic theories and models are almost never based on actual historical observations, only upon assumptions about human behavior and interaction that I personally find naive. Just look at the Efficient Market Hypothesis or the idea that humans are rational decision makers — these ideas or their assumptions quickly fall apart with a simple analysis. People can lie and manipulate; they can be greedy or ascetic. It is nice to finally have a down-to-Earth study of actual historical accounts of human interactions without forcing the current paradigm on the past. Graeber’s book provides a wake-up call for people to see a more realistic view of the interactions of humans, debt, markets, government and money.

IPFS Firefox Companion

If you know about the IPFS project and wondered how to get the address requests to work seamlessly within your browser, there is a Firefox Add-on called IPFS Companion. From the add-on’s description:

This add-on enables everyone to access ipfs.io (or any other public gateway) urls the way they were meant: from locally running IPFS daemon 🙂

To get things running, all you have to do is start your IPFS daemon and then start the add-on. By default both attach to localhost 127.0.0.1:8080. Make sure they both are using the same address. And that’s all! Now every time you visit a site pointing to an IPFS gateway, for instance: ipfs.io gateway.ipfs.io ipfs.pics, it will automatically send the request and receive the response via your IPFS daemon. Pretty awesome! I can’t thank the developers enough – Marcin Rataj and David Dias. You can try it with my own IPFS site: LPPL Market Watch

Free Software Foundation

Informative videos on free (Free as in Freedom) software and open source software. Richard Stallman is a great leader for software freedom and seems to be the source of the stereotype for computer programmer “looks”.

The difference between free and open-source software was not clear to me until after watching these videos and doing further research. See the Wikipedia article on the naming of GNU/Linux.

I personally encourage readers to consider switching to a GNU/Linux operating system or a distribution like Debian if they have not already. If you prefer having a hard copy of the OS or do not have the technical know-how to perform the image download-transfer-install process, OSDisc.com is a great site to order many different distributions.

Also, be sure to become a supporter of GNU by joining the Free Software Foundation.

If you prefer to support individual programmers or projects, check out some of these on Patreon:

 

 

 

And come on… we need to severely lower the percentage of desktops running Windows.

A Glorious Accident – Wim Kayzer (1993)

A Glorious Accident is a set of interviews and discussions with Stephen J. Gould, Freeman Dyson, Stephen Toulmin, Oliver Sacks, Rupert Sheldrake, and Daniel Dennett. The final video is a round table with all of them answering questions about philosophy, evolution, life and the cosmos.

These videos are perfect for the curious and intellectual mind. Get comfortable, grab your popcorn and enjoy!

A Glorious Accident YouTube Playlist

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